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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 September 2018

Gadget review: three of the best Bluetooth speakers

JBL Charge 3, UE Wonderboom, Bose SoundLink Revolve are among the best on the market

Three of the best Bluetooth speakers

There’s never been a better time to buy a Bluetooth speaker, with a wide range of great sounding models offering a variety of features at multiple price points. Here are three of the best on the market right now.

Battery and bass - JBL Charge 3 (Dh599)

It’s been around for about a year now, but if your music collection is all about the bass, the JBL Charge 3 is a great all-round option.

As its name suggests, the Charge 3 doubles up as a (rather large) battery pack for ailing electronic devices, with a whopping 6,000 mAh on hand to both charge your phone and belt out the tunes on the go. Not only is it waterproof, it’s also usable as a speakerphone.

This is particularly handy if you’re on the phone to Barry White; the Charge 3 really punches out the lower tones of bass heavy tracks like Parliament’s Give Up The Funk, the passive radiators on either end pulsing hypnotically to hammer the point home.

Away from its comfort zone, the Charge 3 is less sure of itself, with a slight lack of definition in classical and treble-heavy situations. If bass is your thing however, it's got everything you’ll need and then some.

Cheap thrills - UE Wonderboom (Dh399)

The least expensive of the three options here, UAE’s Wonderboom keeps life simple, offering a very decent audio performance with a minimum of extras.

The smallest of the three, its sound isn’t as in your face as the Charge 3, but it performs surprisingly well for its size, offering solid bass that’s punchy but not overcooked. What’s more, the definition on the high range vocals and strings of Night Fever by the Bee Gees exceeds by far the muddier tones of the Charge 3, even if it gets a little tinny when the volume’s turned way up.

At Dh399, the Wonderboom doesn’t come with too many extra features, with no speakerphone or charging function, and simple power and volume controls only. Happily it’s still waterproof though. Small and robust enough to fit in a backpack, it’s a great budget option with impressive sound both for when you’re out and about or relaxing at home.

A touch of class - Bose SoundLink Revolve (Dh799)

At the other end of the price spectrum to the Wonderboom, the Bose SoundLink Revolve + is the least rugged of the three speakers. It’s more of a living room or patio option, as it’s not waterproof and has a slightly more fragile build.

But where it matters, the Revolve delivers in spades, with perfectly balanced, simply superb sound. Audio is top notch for hip hop and rock tracks, but really comes into its own with classical recordings like the Faure Requiem, with orchestra and choir blending quite beautifully.

This isn’t a speaker for everyone. It’s rareified design and lack of waterproofing means it won’t appeal much to hikers and festival goers. And as always with Bose, there’s a premium to pay. But that extra money is well spent on the Revolve, which offers the exceptional audio quality we’ve come to expect from Bose.

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